Sunday, January 31, 2010


The story of King Midas is only a fairytale, but Dr Vu Van Tu and Amanda Lockett are both well in ‘touch’ with the winners’ circle of late with impressive Bel Esprit 2YO Strike The Tiger winning his first two starts (the first by eight lengths) and another of their Bel Esprits in Silver Bullion taking out the Kensington Stakes-LR at Flemington two weeks ago.
Well, they were back at it again at Hobart today (31 January) when yet another of their Bel Esprits – this time a ‘name combo’ in Silver Strike – grabbed the AAMI Summer Carnival 2YO (940m) in a thrilling finish.
Nothing beats timing and both Dr Vu and Amanda will sell a half brother to both Silver Bullion and Silver Strike at the Tasmanian Magic Millions at Launceston on 23 February.
Entering the ring as Lot 69, it’s hard to see anything topping such an in form colt.


It was one helluva day in Hobart town on Saturday (30 January) with stakes wins to Geegees Blackflash (Clangalang) and Radha Rani (Delago Brom), while Bel Esprit kicked in with a program treble after Cardannic won the second on the program: the Winning Edge Presentations Handicap.
And just to cap off another big week for Bel Esprit, Shane Fliedner’s Tollesprit put in a biggie by taking out the Schweppes Handicap at Flemington in comfortable fashion.
Cardannic (from the King Tobias mare Kinlochleven) kicked off proceedings with her second career victory over the 1400m at Hobart.
The mare was bred by Mick & Lou Maroulis’ Conerin Stud and is owned by Dudley Clark.
A half sister to no less than eight winners – including Melbourne Group winner Cahuita – Cardannic is closely related to Group One winner Zaparri and Magic Millions 3YO winner Tereschenko.
Meanwhile, Tollesprit was VERY impressive at Flemington and ANZ Bloodstock News gave him a big tick in its daily wrap: “Tollesprit is a talented colt and he won this nicely, chiming in with his challenge 300m out and proving too good for his rivals in the run home. Tollesprit looked big in the mounting yard beforehand and trainer Shane Fliedner said the colt will derive a great deal of benefit from this.”
Bred by Eliza Park and sold to Shane Fliedner at the 2008 Adelaide Magic Millions, Tollesprit is out of the Alzao mare Tolleranza and is a half sister to three winners including Flemington stakes winner Belle Ball.
Now having won three and placed in two from only nine starts, Shane Fliedner’s always had a huge opinion of Tollesprit and this was a memorable performance given that it was the 3YOs first run in over three months.
A winner at Flemington during his first campaign as a 2YO, Tollesprit was runnerup to subsequent Caulfield Guineas-G1 winner Starspangledbanner in the HDF McNeil Stakes-G3 at Caulfield in August, beaten less than a length.


In what was clearly a red letter day for Eliza Park stallions (Clangalang’s first stakes winner with Geegees Blackflash and a city double to Bel Esprit), Delago Brom produced his third stakes winner when exciting 2YO Radha Rani (below) took out the Motors Elwick Stakes-LR at Hobart yesterday (30 January).
Although the Delago Broms tend to give the impression they improve as they mature, his last two stakes winners have been juveniles – Delago Bolt and now the Terence Evans trained Radha Rani.
Having only her second outing, Radha Rani took a good sit just off the pace and loomed in the last 100m to win running away.
Bred by Andrew Scanlon, Finian Maccana and Ron Banks, Radha Rani was sold at the 2009 Tasmanian Magic Millions yearling sale for $25,000 and it appears to have been a very sold buy.
Interestingly, a Clangalang half brother will be sold (as Lot 153) on 23 February as part of this year’s Tasmanian MM and, given the win of Radha Rani and Clangalang’s Tasmanian Derby-G3 winner Geegees Blackflash on the same program, the yearling colt is likely to be one of the hottest commodities at this year’s sale.
Radha Rani’s mum, Genuine Blonde (by Sandpit), is one of the Apple Isle’s favourite daughters having won the Tasmanian 1000 Guineas-LR and five other races and hails from the family of Silver Slipper-G2 winner Kisses For Kathy.

By the way, full marks to whom ever named Radha Rani.
Radharani (the single word version) is, according to Hindu beliefs, the ‘supreme goddess’ and, given the authority of the equine namesake, she’d be pretty popular around the Evans stable.


Clangalang’s Blackflash wins Tasmanian Derby-G3

Clangalang (below) is clearly one of the most underrated sires in Australia but he’s a very popular stallion for Apple Isle breeders.
While the Australian Derby/Epsom winner is a constant source of winners throughout the mainland, his strike rate in Tasmania is sensational.
Geegees Blackflash (below) is a great example: the John Luttrell trained 3YO has now raced on 16 occasions for four wins and seven placings, but had to contend with the runnerup prize – behind Victorian interloper Excuse My French – at his previous two black type starts: the Tasmanian and Hobart Guineas.
However, yesterday he turned the tables, taking out the Cadbury Tasmanian Guineas in most confident fashion.
Excuse my French – but that’s bloody terrific.

Here is ANZ Bloodstock News’ take on the race:
Geegees Backflash upheld local honour with a smooth victory in the $200,000 Tasmanian Derby-G3 at Elwick.
Waiting with until heads were turned for home, Geegees Backflash came with a strong run in the straight to go past Sydney visitor Kinnersley in the final 100m and win going away.
Paul and Elizabeth Geard’s homebred son of Clangalang has a Derby pedigree, being out of a half-sister to the South Australian Derby winner Cheviot, while Clangalang himself won the Australian Derby.
Trained by John Luttrell, Geegees Backflash had run well in both the Tasmanian and Hobart Guineas in the lead up to the Derby and clearly relished the extra trip here.
“This is a turning point in my training career – that’s for sure,” Luttrell told Peter Staples later. “I was on the brink of pulling the pin but Paul Geard convinced me to keep at it and here we are leading back the Tasmanian Derby winner - it’s bloody amazing,” he said.
Clangalang stands at Eliza Park Stud in Victoria where his fee in 2009 was advertised at $5,500.

And this is what Breednet thought:

AJC Australian Derby winner Clangalang passed a career milestone on Saturday when producing his first stakes winner after 3YO gelding Geegees Blackflash took out the Tasmanian Derby in Hobart.
Allowed to settle midfield by jockey Lee Smith, Geegees Blackflash finished full of running to cruise past Sydneysider Kinnersley to take the 2200m feature event by the best part of a length.
A homebred for Mr and Mrs Paul Geard, Geegees Blackflash has the overall record of four wins and seven placings from 16 starts with prizemoney of $197,545.
Geegees Blackflash is one of two winners from the unraced Grand Lodge (USA) mare La Quita, a half-sister to Group One SAJC Australian Derby winner Cheviot.


Well known industry figure, John Jeffs, heads up Eliza Park’s inspection team at all major sales and is arguably the most famous ‘meet and greet’ in the business.
JJ has been to a lot of sales in his time (I think he even opens the gates of a morning – ed) but even he is pleasantly surprised with the initial draft that Eliza Park has consigned for the New Zealand Yearling Sales which kick off at Karaka tomorrow (Monday).
Here is JJ’s report card from the last couple of days of inspections:

The most popular horse by inspections is the Holy Roman Emperor – Millrich colt (Lot 49).
In fact, some viewers have even said “best Holy Roman Emperor I’ve seen”.
Second cab off the rank – in terms of popularity – would have to be the gorgeous Sky Watch filly by sire of the minute Snitzel (Lot 170).
This is a sensational walker with a huge overstep and will be keenly sought by many come bidding time. This is one yearling that could very well be competitive this time next year in the Karaka Millions!
Another one that has kept us on our toes is the Starcraft – Nakedindaspa colt (Lot 67) and I’m handing out prizes to those who can work out how the dam was named!
He might be a tad immature but some very astute judges remain quite keen on his prospects and should make into a very nice 3YO (ideal for this market).
The big, scopy Fusaichi Pegasus – Grey Invader filly (Lot 84) has had a lot of fans this week and, based on the number of inspections, I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit surprised if she finds herself a nice home tomorrow.
Due to the catalogues for Premier and Select sale being split in two, our two entries for the Select session have been relatively quieter than those in the Premier, however things are now starting to move on that front and today’s inspections are expected to show a marked variance in numbers of lookers.
As they say in the classics … watch this space.

The Holy Roman Emperor - Millrich colt (Lot 49)

Friday, January 29, 2010


The introduction of Written Tycoon’s progeny to the yearling sale market has met with a hearty response: selling up to $55,000 and averaging over three and half times service fee.
It’s a promising start for the flashy chestnut, who has impressed a diverse group of breeders since he retired to stud in 2007, following a Group Two victory at two and playing well with his peers at three.
Indeed, his three seasons at stud to date has seen the Iglesia stallion cover 323 mares: initially garnering support due to his ‘look and book’ conformation and, once his first foals had arrived, their ‘quality’ ensured three figure harems.
On the Gold Coast, leading agent Dean Hawthorne and top Sydney trainer David Payne paid $55,000 and $45,000 respectively for Written Tycoon colts, while in the opening session of the Perth Magic Millions, his lone offering to date fetched $35,000 from Asian clients.
Written Tycoon’s average of $30,400 – 3.7 times service fee – compares more than favourably with his first season compadres in Victoria and, in fact, is one of the best ‘strike rates’ in the nation.
Written Tycoon will sell seven yearlings in Melbourne, while a further eight will be offered in Adelaide.
And, if the Gold Coast, Sydney and Perth are anything to go by, they won’t be spending a lot of time in their boxes!


- with Lyle Plumb

In what looks to be a positive start for Eliza Park in Asia for 2010, the Chengdu office has been extremely busy and we already have been introduced to many of the industry participants.
During the month, I was asked to make a presentation to a group of 120 potential stewards, who are doing a government sponsored training course in preparation for the upcoming racing.
My topic was the importance of integrity and the varied roles that racing stewards undertake. With the help of an interpreter, and the Eliza Park DVD providing the necessary visual diversion, I was impressed by the eagerness of these people to listen and ask many questions.
Another project that is well underway is the construction of a multi million dollar, state of the art equestrian facility. It will be used as part of a sporting complex being built for an International Pentathlon competition in September.
The grandstand will hold many thousands and would rival most football venues in Australia. The interesting part is that the 150 plus stables and the parade areas are also being considered for upcoming horse auctions when racing commences.
Magic Millions owners and legendary entrepreneurs, Gerry Harvey and John Singleton, would be green with envy if they could see the site (see model below).
Meanwhile, Singapore keeps bubbling along and we almost got the perfect start to 2010 for Eliza Park when Diplomatic Strike went under by a nose at his latest run. Sitting with the trainer, we thought he was going to deliver his second successive win when he kicked clear on straightening, but as they say “weight will stop a train” and another runner with 49 kilos caught him on the post.
The new stables at Kranji are now fully operational and a number of new trainers have opened for business.
The hillside training track is completed, which means there are few excuses as to why horse’s wouldn’t perform at their peak with all of these great facilities.
Trainers have been coming and going a bit recently, particularly to sales throughout the world, but it is still a much weaker buying bench with most owners wanting the older horse like Ready To Run types.
Still, the Steven Burridge stable purchased a God’s Own colt from Eliza Park at the Magic Millions and he is bound to arrive toward the end of the year.
Anyway, now is preparation time for Chinese New Year and I will be spending this time in Singapore and hopefully leading in a few winners that have come through the Eliza Park system.

A model of the Chengdu complex which, according to Lyle Plumb, is in the advanced stages of construction.


Located in the southwest of China and capital of Sichuan province, Chengdu is known as the party city: the home of spicy Chinese cuisine.
Famous for its laid back lifestyle, there is certainly a different pace of life here.
One of the country’s important economic centres, Chengdu was recently named the fourth most livable city in China and its international airport is a four hour direct flight from Singapore which runs daily.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


- with Cameron Croucher

Conjecture over the state of play for the 2010 yearling sales dominated discussions as we made the turn into the New Year and, the market is still very much under scrutiny in terms of value buying, the Gold Coast Magic Millions yielded reasonable results.
There were also some satisfying ‘statistics’ emerging from Perth and Sydney and now we point the compass across the Tasman to the New Zealand National Yearling Sales.
Eliza Park is selling its first draft at Karaka and it was somewhat fitting that as the only standalone Aussie consignment, the first parade was conducted on Australia Day!
Eliza Park has already tasted considerable success in New Zealand – as owners – campaigning Group One winners Recurring and Shinzig and the multiple stakes winners Danbird – and hopefully we can repeat the dose from the sales ring.
We certainly have an exciting team with yearlings by God’s Own, Holy Roman Emperor, Snitzel, Starcraft, Fusaichi Pegasus and Jungle Pocket.
Our decision to reduce yearling sale preparation costs to $44 per day and commission to 0.75% - especially in a moody market – has had a tremendous response and to all our loyal supporters, I wish you every success with upcoming sales.
Back home in Victoria, Eliza Park is currently preparing large drafts for the Inglis Melbourne Premier and Adelaide Magic Millions (some 70 yearlings for the two sales) and full previews of these drafts – including comments, pedigrees, photos and videos – will be posted on our website by mid-February.
On the racetrack we have some exciting times ahead with unbeaten Bel Esprit filly, Black Caviar, promising plenty after her victorious return in the Group Two Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley and I’m very confident that the progeny of God’s Own will make their presence felt throughout the Autumn.
On the breeding front, Eliza Park will be making some announcements about the 2010 stallion lineup – watch this space! – and we’ll look forward to again offering clients some outstanding opportunities this spring.


Hard work, talent and a lot of ‘Luck’

Luke Wilkinson has earned his stripes. A knockabout bloke with a ready smile, his demeanor hides a driving ambition to succeed at his chosen profession.
And it’s starting to pay dividends: right hand man for leading Caulfield trainer Mick Price and head of a highly successful bloodstock syndicate, Luke recently sold a God’s Own colt from his mare Maneater for $95,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions. Importantly, the colt will end up in the stable of Gai Waterhouse.
It’s a fair hike for the young bloke who studied accounting for four years before scoring a Horse Business Management scholarship at Marcus Oldham in 2002.
By his own admission, Luke – now widely known as Lucky – “stuffed around” for a couple of years, doing stints at Chatswood Stud, Racing Victoria and Winning Post before deciding to syndicate his first horse in 2004.
From small acorns do sizeable acorns grow and Lucky now has 22 horses in training with Price.


Eliza Park’s stable rider, Craig Atkinson, has been awarded his jockeys’ licence and is now available for race day engagements.
“Craig is very capable young jockey and plays an integral role in the farm’s racing division,” Eliza Park’s General Manager Racing, Sue Ellis points out.
“Craig has helped prepare our Ready To Run horses for the past couple of seasons and has ridden in 20 odd trials of late.
“He’s a natural lightweight and, importantly, still has a three kilo claim.”
Craig recently featured as our Staff Profile.


Darren Mackereth - going for broke

Perhaps it’s a by-product of our heritage, but there is a certain romantic notion about life on horseback.
Although droves of young folk now eschew rural pursuits for city lights and a cubicle, Eliza Park’s head breaker – Darren Mackereth – is not about to step down from the saddle.
One of the thoroughbred industry’s most accomplished horsemen – and with a ‘resume’ which includes Horse of the Year, Weekend Hussler – Darren is clearly in his element.
After all, given that he’s been riding since he could walk, it’s in the blood ...

“I grew up in North Queensland, mustering and learning to break in stock horses on my family’s cattle property.
“Moving to Toowoomba to finish my studies, most weekends you would find me competing at show jumping and camp drafting events. Due to the demand for Australian horses I was able to sell quite a few overseas.
“My first job in the thoroughbred industry was with the McNicol family’s Gainsborough Lodge which encompassed every facet of stud life, including breaking in.
“By the time I was 20 I had taken out an open trainers’ licence and trained my first winner a few months later.”


“She was a sweet old thing … used to fire up a bit earlier on, but in recent years she played ‘nanny’ to a lot of the young horses on farm. What a great mare!”
Eliza Park’s Nagambie manager, Kim Holley, was recalling the deeds of farm ‘matriarch’ Song of Norway, who died on Monday (25 January) at the ripe old age of 27.
Although Kim’s tenure as manager of Eliza Park’s agistment and rearing division only dates back to 2008 when the company acquired the Central Victorian property, she is one of Eliza Park’s longest serving employees, joining the team over 10 years ago.
“Song of Norway has been with us since Eliza Park was first established, having a huge influence … and, based on recent events, is likely to have a sizeable impact in the years to come.”
A grey mare by Vain out of the Danish matron, Love Song (imported to Australia by Kingston Town’s breeder David Hains), Song of Norway was foaled on 1 November 1982.
Although unraced, Song of Norway would go on to produce 12 live foals, 11 of which were winners. Her first foal was unraced, but then in quick succession she foaled:
  • Wyama King (by Kingston Jamaica) – winner of 7 races
  • Russian Tea Room (by Raise A Cup) – Melbourne stakes winner
  • Magic Piper (by Magical Wonder) – won 3 races
  • Frosty the Snowman (by Christmas Tree) – Melbourne stakes winner of 4 races
  • Glacial Lass (by Canny Lad) – Flemington winner of 2 races
  • Scandinavia (by Snippets) – multiple Group winner and 4 times Group One placed
  • Midnight Sun (by Western Symphony) – Sydney stakes winner of 4 races
  • Nordica (by Western Symphony) – Melbourne winner of 2 races
  • McHappy (by Rory’s Jester) – winner
  • Song of the Sun (by Desert Sun) – city winner and stakes placed
  • Cardiale (by Desert Sun) – 8 wins
A half sister to the Hains’ family’s Group Two winner and VRC Derby-G1 runnerup Muirfield Village, Song of Norway then missed at her last five covers before putting the cue back in the rack in 2006.
However, it’s her continuing influence through five of her daughters, all of whom have produced winners: Nordica, Glacial Lass, Song of the Sun, Midnight Sun and, in particular, Scandinavia.
A ‘blue hen’ in her own right, Scandinavia is the dam of both Group One winning sprinter and Eliza Park sire, Magnus (below), the multiple Group winner Wilander and Helsinge, who has been very much in the news of late as the mother of unbeaten star, Black Caviar.
One thing’s for sure, Song of Norway is a tune that will be hard to get out of your head.


Sadly for Glenn Barry, his Delago Brom colt – born in October 2004 – would be the last foal from his Fappiano mare, Mo Mon Tai.
However, his decision to race the now 5YO has paid dividends with Dabero’s Jag (below) winning his fifth race yesterday and taking his prizemoney tally to over $100k.
Racing over the 2224m journey at Geelong, Dabero’s Jag proved too good for his 12 rivals and has now brought home a cheque from 20 of his 40 outings.
A half brother to five other winners, Dabero’s Jag’s dam is a half sister to two stakes winners and hails from a black type North American family.
Delago Brom, meanwhile, continues to pump out the winners and there are few sires in the country capable of siring progeny of similar quality, looks and athleticism.
Indeed, although only two of his yearlings have sold thus far in 2010, they have reaped up to four times service fee.

Photo courtesy of Slickpix


This from the desk of Brian Russell Media …

Overlooked in many discussions on great thoroughbred sale bargains of recent years is Bel Esprit (below), the sire of Black Caviar, a 3YO filly who suggested she is poised to be the sprint queen of the autumn when she retained her unbeaten record in recording a dominant win in the $202,000 Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
One of the first horses bred by Hunter Valley construction engineer Phil Gunter, resident owner with wife Leonie of the Llanilo Park stud near Coolmore at Jerrys Plains, Bel Esprit realised only $9,000 when sold to Macedon Lodge, Victoria through Baerami Thoroughbreds at the 2001 Inglis Sydney Classic yearling sale.
Now rejuvenating the iron constitution transmitting Njinsky male line as a sire at Lee Fleming’s Victorian breeding giant Eliza Park, this son of Coolmore’s world wide successful sire Royal Academy and the Vain mare Bespoken went on to be one of the best juveniles and 3YOs (accoladed a champion) of his generation.
They were the only years he competed and his 19 starts saw him finish in the first two in 12 stakes, including eight wins. He excited the nation when he won the first five of his six appearances at two, including the VRC Maribynong Plate (by four lengths) and the MRC Blue Diamond Preview (by 4.5 lengths) and Blue Diamond Stakes, before ending the campaign with a fifth as favourite in the Golden Slipper.
Although Slipper glory eluded Bel Esprit, his appearances at two suggested he was worthy of consideration on merit with his mercurial maternal grandsire Vain, one of the most brilliant horses bred in Victoria.
In earning $2million, Bel Esprit went on to pick up five Group One cheques at three, a win in the Doomben 10,000 (1.3 lengths) and seconds in the VRC Newmarket, MRC Caulfield Guineas and Dubai Cup and MVRC Manikato Stakes.
Retired to stud in 2003 and now represented by four crops including current 2YOs, Bel Esprit has nearly 140 winners on the board, comprised by runners in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and South Africa.
He has supplied eight stakes winners, a score that is likely to improve dramatically in the near future following improved respect from quality breeders and stables.

He is one of Australia’s busiest sires with each of his books for 2007 and 2009 being in excess of 250.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Eliza Park is consigning six yearlings to the New Zealand National Yearling Sales which kick off at Karaka next Monday (1 February).
This is the first time that Eliza Park has taken a yearling draft across the Tasman and is making the most of the opportunity by offering half a dozen, athletic and highly commercial types.
Already having tasted considerable success ‘across the pond’ by racing Group One winners Recurring and Shinzig and the multiple stakes winner Danbird in New Zealand, Eliza Park is now intent on repaying the favour by selling tomorrow’s black typers.
The yearlings are by exciting young sires God’s Own, Holy Roman Emperor, Snitzel and Starcraft, along with progeny by Group One producers Fusaichi Pegasus and Jungle Pocket.
For a full rundown on each yearling – including photos, comments, pedigrees and videos – click here.
Eliza Park would like to welcome anyone visiting Karaka to join us at the our marquee outside Barn B.

Lot 49: The Holy Roman Emperor three quarter brother to Danerich.


Captain Arthur Phillip sailing into Sydney Harbour in 1788 and whacking a few prawns on the barbie wasn’t the only famous event on 26 January.

1808: Rum Rebellion, the only successful (albeit short-lived) armed takeover of the government in Australia.

1841: Britain formally occupies Hong Kong (handing it back to China on 1 July 1997)

1950: India becomes a republic

1966: The Beaumont children go missing from Glenelg beach in South Australia

1998: Bill Clinton makes his famous “I never had sexual relations with that woman” speech. Close, but no cigar … well, actually!


Given that it’s Australia Day, we’ll hand this over to perhaps the most famous Tasmanian of all time …

“Women won't let me stay single and I won't let me stay married.”

“Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure.”

“The rest of my life will be devoted to women and litigation”

“I like my whisky old and my women young.”

The late, great Errol Flynn


Eliza Park’s head breaker, Darren Mackereth, keeps a close eye on the comings and goings of his ‘graduates’ and noticed that the Mike Moroney-trained trio – Viking Hero, Sophrosyne and the exciting King Pulse – are all on target to make a mark this autumn. The following was picked up by Darren from the bigpond racing website last Friday, on the eve of Viking Hero running a solid first up fourth over 1300m at Sandown – beaten just over a length – while Sophrosyne flew home for second in the same event, coming from eighth on the bend.

Viking Hero begins a campaign aimed towards the AJC Australian Derby when he resumes in the Rancher Handicap at Sandown.
Trainer Mike Moroney said the Elvstroem colt had strengthened up since being sent for a spell after being relegated from first to third on protest to Turf Express in the Myer Spring Fashion Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on Oaks Day at his fourth race start.
“We are plotting a path towards the AJC Derby and you’ll see a stronger version of him this time,” Moroney said.
“He’s a lovely horse now. He’s out of a Zabeel mare and I expect staying to be his forte and he won’t find his best form until he gets out over a bit of a trip.”
Viking Hero’s dam Gypsy Dollar is a half-sister to 1993 AJC Derby and Rosehill Guineas winner Innocent King and 1996 Sandown Cup winner Royal Snack.
Moroney accepted with both Viking Hero and stablemate Sophrosyne in Saturday’s 1300m Rating 72 three-year-old event and said while Viking Hero was “up to the mark” for his first-up assignment, Sophrosyne was probably the better chance of the pair over the sprint trip (certainly got that right! – ed).
“If he can find his right form I think he’s a seriously good horse so it’ll be very interesting,” he said.
A Testa Rossa gelding, Sophrosyne won successive races over 1400m at Cranbourne and over 1300 at Seymour last August, but disappointed the stable when second-last behind Most Immediate over 1200m at Moonee Valley on January 8.
Steven Arnold will ride Sophrosyne while Luke Currie has been booked for Viking Hero.
Meanwhile Moroney is hoping lightly raced three-year-old King Pulse will be ready for a first up crack at the $1 million Newmarket Hcp (1200m) at Flemington on March 6.
He said the Canny Lad gelding pulled up “quite shinsore” after running a nose second to Headway in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day which was only his third start.
The chestnut had impressed winning his first two starts over 1103m at Geelong and over 1200m at Caulfield earlier in the spring.
“We gave him six weeks off and three weeks on the water walker. He’s been doing strong pacework since coming back to the stable and we’ll step him up shortly but all going well we would like to think he could head to the Newmarket, but it would have to be first up.
“But it is something we’ll have to monitor on the way through.”

Viking Hero (top) and Sophrosyne during their stay at Eliza Park.


Brian Donohoe does a remarkable job keeping up to date with all the latest and greatest pertaining to the love of his life, Bel Esprit (sorry Mrs Donohoe!), and has compiled a list of the most successful owners of Bel Esprit progeny.
And how about Colin Madden and Neil Werrett who have raced both Group One winner Bel Mer and unbeaten excitement machine, Black Caviar!


The win of Black Caviar at Moonee Valley on Friday night definitely set the stage for another big Bel Esprit weekend with Strike The Tiger (Launceston) and Belletrist (Sunshine Coast) notching up a two state double on Sunday (24 January).
Exciting 2YO, Strike the Tiger was having only his second start – after winning by eight lengths on debut over 1000m at Devonport on 6 January – and continues the amazing run of owner/breeders Dr Vu Van Tu and Amanda Lockett.
The pair recently notched up a stakes victory with Silver Bullion (another Bel Esprit) and could go very close to producing another with the Tasmanian summer carnival looming.
Sent out a $1.40 favourite, Strike The Tiger won as he liked with jockey Simon Maskiell easing the juvenile down on the line to score by two panels.
Strike The Tiger is out of the Straight Strike mare Bonnie Lassy, a half sister to multiple Kiwi SW Orange Walk and another NZ SW in Monarch Prince.
Strike The Tiger is also a direct descendant of the famous Dulcie, whose line has produced Balmerino, Surround, Purple Patch, Lord Hybrow, Beau Zam and My Tristram’s Belle.
Meanwhile, up in the Sunshine state and on the Sunshine Coast, Belletrist recorded her initial victory for trainer Troy Hall.
Although having raced on three previous occasions, Belletrist had not escaped the eye of serious punters and was sent out a $2.30 favourite, winning easily over the 1000m journey.
Bred by Doug Lomas’ Canungra Pastoral Company, Belletrist is out of the Roman Prince mare Lady Nickelii, a stakes winner in Queensland and runnerup in the QTC Sires’ Produce S-G1 at two. A half sister to Group winner Moods, Lady Nickelii is now the dam of four winners including Group Two placed 2YO Breezer.
Don’t be surprised – on the strength of her Sunshine Coast win – to see Belletrist in the city soon.


Clangalang (left) continues to fight above his weight with an excellent stakes to runners strike rate, enhanced over the last few days with victories to the Noel Mayfield-Smith trained Hemony at Canberra on Friday (22 January) – scoring by 3.5 lengths – and the fourth career win to Bavarian Belle at Launceston on Sunday (24 January).
Bred by Eliza Park and hailing from the Gilded Time mare Ornamented, Hemony was off the scene for almost 10 months when resuming with a third at Kembla in December. This was his third run back and looks as if there’s still plenty in the tank.
Sold by Eliza Park at the 2007 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale in Sydney for $25,000, Hemony is closely related to several North American black type winners.
Bavarian Belle continued Clangalang’s excellent run in Tassie with her comfy win over 1200m – he second victory over the course and distance and fourth city win overall.
Also bred and sold by Eliza Park – in partnership with Warren Walker – Bavarian Belle is out of the Dehere mare Rich Dessert and was purchased by Joe O’Neill’s Prime Thoroughbreds at the 2007 Gold Coast Magic Millions for $20,000.
A half sister to the multiple Melbourne winner Sun Glazed, Bavarian Belle’s dam is a winning half sister to Group winning 2YO God Has Spoken.

What’s in a name?

Hemony is named after the Hemony brothers – Francois and Pieter – who, back in the 17th century, were famous carillon (bell) makers. Evidently they were so good at making a ‘clangalang’ that after they died, it was nearly 200 hundred years before carillons were cast with comparable tuning quality.
Certainly, our Hemony was in tune at Canberra!

The Hemony carillon in Amsterdam


Stallions was quick off the mark to laud Black Caviar’s triumphant return at Moonee Valley.

Black Caviar made her much anticipated return to racing tonight in the $200,000 Group 2 Essendon Mazda Australia Stakes (registered name Stanley Wooton Stakes) over 1200m at Moonee Valley.
And until tonight no three-year-old filly had been victorious in the weight-for-age sprint and the brown daughter of Bel Esprit changed that and kept her perfect record in tact making it win number five.
Black Caviar is trained at Caulfield by Peter Moody for a large syndicate of owners’ and the ease of her victory against her older rivals this evening could be the beginning of a campaign that may take the team to Dubai for a crack at the US$2.5 million Golden Shaheen in March.
Black Caviar has filled out into her frame and strengthened up. Her physique is one that Arnie Schwarzenegger would be proud of.
Black Caviar had her spring campaign cut short when she was tore a muscle in the chest when jumping awkwardly in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m), and still win, at Flemington in September last year.
Moody has worked hard on her barrier technique and tonight with a barrier blanket on for the first time she jumped away beautifully.
Moody said the Golden Shaheen will come under consideration but not until Black Caviar contests her first Group One race back at Moonee Valley in the William Reid Stakes (1200m) on February 13.
Bel Esprit is enjoying a good run of success with Silver Bullion and Beltrois collecting stakes events at the last two Saturday meetings in Victoria.
A son of Royal Academy, Bel Esprit was a tough racehorse having raced exclusively in stakes events during his 19 start career, where he won eight of them including the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes and the Doomben 10000.
Black Caviar was a $210,000 yearling purchase out of the 2008 William Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale and is from a family that just keeps on getting better.
Her dam, Helsinge, a daughter of Desert Sun, is half-sister to Flying Spur’s sprint star Magnus – winner of the Group 1 AJC The Galaxy and the Group 2 VRC Linlithgow Stakes, and stands alongside Bel Esprit at Eliza Park Stud in Victoria in his new career, and to Wilander (by Exceed and Excel), winner of the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes. Black Caviar’s grandam is the very fast daughter of Snippets in Scandinavia.

Black Caviar a Arnie lookalike? One thing’s for sure … she’ll be baaaack.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Filly remains unbeaten with comfortable win

Unbeaten filly Black Caviar maintained her perfect record with a comfortable win in the Australia Stakes (Gr 2) last night at Moonee Valley. Thrown in against older horses at weight-for-age, Black Caviar was still sent out an odds-on favourite and those that took the short odds never had a moment’s worry.
Content to race in second place, just on the quarters of Here de Angels, Black Caviar was allowed more rein by Luke Nolen approaching the home turn and the daughter of Bel Esprit asserted early in the straight to win going away by two and a quarter lengths in the time of 1:10.18 with a last 600m in 34.08.
“She was terrific in the gates and was away smartly. She was never anywhere near her top,” Nolen said later. Trainer Peter Moody was clearly a relieved man afterwards and he was in expansive mood.
“It’s always a relief to see her get back on track like that. You are never 100 per cent sure when they have a preparation aborted through injury. The second horse is no mug. He’s a tough old handicapper and the exciting thing about the win is the level of improvement in her which augurs well for later on.”
Moody named the William Reid Stakes (Gr 1) back at Moonee Valley on February 13 as the next race for Black Caviar.
“We’ll bring her back here for the William Reid in three weeks. If she does something similar to this then we might look at other options.
“She’s still in the Newmarket but it hasn’t really been a focus of mine this time in,” Moody said, adding that there were ambitious plans for the filly. “There’s some chance I might give her a vaccination tomorrow for a run in Dubai,” Moody said. “It’s (the Golden Shaheen) worth $US2 million on the dirt. It might be a challenge.
A succinct analysis of the win was provided by Michael Rodd, rider of runner-up Here de Angels. “He did his best but the filly is just outstanding.”
Having sold for $210,000 as a yearling at the Melbourne Premier Sale, Black Caviar has now won all five of her races and earned $438,250.
- ANZ Bloodstock News

Thursday, January 21, 2010


“It’s a lot tougher to get up in the mornings when you start wearing silk pyjamas.”

- former jockey Eddie Arcaro

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The Australian Stud Book has released covering statistics for the 2009 season with four of Eliza Park’s resident stallions featuring in the top 20 – the only Victorian stud represented.

Michael Ford, Keeper of the Australian Stud Book, reported that with most of the coverings for the 2009 season now lodged, it was obvious that the Thoroughbred breeding industry had proven more resilient to the global financial crisis than he originally expected.
“Major yearling sales, both here and overseas, were down 30%, and with my faith in the hardiness of Australian thoroughbred breeders, I thought that the number of coverings may decrease by only 15%: yet it looks like being less than 10%,” Michael explained.
At 20 January 2010, there were 23,320 mares reported as being covered in the 2009 season by 710 stallions, compared with 26,480 in 2008, a drop of 12% but still below the 2007 equine influenza affected total of 24,580.
Michael believes that when late reports are lodged, the total will achieve 24,000, indicating only a 10% decrease from 2008 which is heartening for the industry.


The late, great WC Fields was famous for having a drink or three, for his dislike of children and for his misogyny (despite being married and having a couple of ‘live ins’, one of whom was killed in a bar fight!).
His most famous quotes include:
“Anyone who hates children and animals can’t be all bad” and “Never give a sucker an even break”, while a personal favourite is “Who left the cork out of my lunch?”

Here’s a few more …

“A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her.”

“All the men in my family were bearded … and most of the women.”

“Children should neither be seen or heard from … ever again.”

“Drown in a cold vat of whiskey? Death, where is thy sting?”

“I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.”

“Never try to impress a woman, because if you do she’ll expect you to keep up the standard for the rest of your life.”

“No doubt exists that all women are crazy … it’s only a question of degree.”

“Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.”

“Some things are better than sex, and some are worse, but there’s nothing exactly like it.”

“Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.”

And finally …

“If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”


Black Caviar makes her much anticipated return to racing on Friday night (22 January) in the $200,000 Essendon Mazda Australia Stakes-G2 over 1200m at Moonee Valley.
The unbeaten Bel Esprit filly hasn’t been sighted since hurting her ‘hammer and tack’ in the Danehill Stakes-G2 at Flemington on 5 September, but – if ‘rival’ trainers are to be believed – she’s ready to come back with a bang.
While trainer, Peter Moody, is doing his best to put a cap on the hype, Mick Price (who will start dual Group One winner Heart of Dreams), reckons Black Caviar will “clobber them”, adding that her trial over 650m on Monday morning “had to be seen to be believed. She’s some sort of machine. She’ll be coming back to scale when mine is still in the straight.”
And, last week, Matt Stewart reported in the Herald Sun that Aquanita trainer, Robert Smerdon clocks most of the jump outs at Caulfield and was stunned by Black Caviar’s effort: “That’s pretty quick. In fact it’s very quick,” Smerdom said, staring at his stopwatch.
Although racing against older horses for the first time – including Heart of Dreams, Royal Ida and Here de Angels – Black Caviar is sure to start a warm favourite.
And, according to online bookies, she’s also the ‘pea’ for the Newmarket Handicap-G1 at Flemington on 6 March.


Deserved win for the Robbie Laing trained Miss Papier who scored over 1200m at Warrnambool on Tuesday (19 January).
The lightly raced Delago Brom filly was having only her second run this time after finishing second at Stony Creek on 2 January.
Out of the Rory’s Jester mare, Molly Mac, Miss Papier was bred by Primecase Pty Ltd and the late William Tilbury and sold by Eliza Park at the 2008 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for $22,000.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Excuse the pun, but Statue of Liberty may well have another ‘star’ in the making with Macau flyer, Golden Star.
Originally with Robert Smerdon and named In the Crown, Golden Star won at trial at Cranbourne in October 2008 before being exported to Macau in May of last year.
Since arriving in Macau, Golden Star (below) has truly blossomed under the tutelage of Pat Lee, finishing second on debut before reeling off five consecutive victories: culminating in the M$515,000 The Berrigan at Taipa on Sunday (17 January).
His biggest victory to date, Golden Star won his first race in Macau by over six panels, but has since logged up winning margins of three, five, three and two lengths.
According to Bloodhound, Golden Star has now won close to $A160,000 which is a remarkable result for a horse that was originally purchased at the 2007 Adelaide Magic Millions for just $2,500.
Out of the Snaadee mare, Anley, Golden Star is closely related to multiple Group winner Friday Creek and hails from a solid European black type family.

Now a leading trainer in Macau, Pat Lee (left) was originally an apprentice with the Macau Trotting Club when they staged harness racing. Later heading to Hong Kong, Pat furthered his studies in Australia before returning to Macau in 1996 as assistant trainer to KC Tse.
Taking out his trainers’ licence a year later, Pat’s feature wins include the Directors’ Cup, Macau Sprint Trophy, Lisboa Challenge, Winter Trophy and Lisboa Prelude.
An active buyer at Australian sales for over 10 years, Pat purchased four yearlings at the recent Gold Coast Magic Millions, including $160,000 for a Fastnet Rock colt.


Eliza Park’s sales and noms man, Mark Lindsay, was interviewed by Shane Anderson on Sport 927 this morning (18 January), providing an update on Bel Esprit – including his two stakes winners in a week (Beltrois and Silver Bullion) – along with a break down of Eliza Park’s success at the Gold Coast Magic Millions.
You can listen to the interview by clicking here.


Top effort on Sunday (17 January) by well bred 4YO, Kallogg, who won first up over 1112m at Kilmore.
Racing out of the Lee and Shannon Hope stable, the lightly raced Kallogg has now won two from five and is clearly on the way up.
Bred and part owned by Eliza Park client Grant Sheldon, Kallogg is out of the King’s Theatre mare, Snappop, a half sister to five winners including brilliant Kiwi filly Snap (11 wins, including NZ Oaks-G1 and Manawatu Sires’ Produce-G1) and the Group One runnerup Repetition.
Eliza Park will be selling a Bianconi half brother to Kallogg at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale on Thursday 4 March (Lot 689) and, based on Kallogg’s continuing good form, he’ll be worth the wait.


Gee, he’s unlucky. Maybe that’s why they called him Gee-gees?
Geegees Blackflash would have to rank as one of the unluckiest horses in Tasmania, finishing second AGAIN on Sunday (17 January) in the $80,000 Hobart Guineas-LR over 2100m.
This was the Clangalang 3YO’s third second in his past eight outings including another second in the Tasmanian Guineas-LR at his previous start on 3 January.
Both starts Geegees Blackflash has finished only a whisker behind Melbourne raider, Excuse My French: which is another applicable name given that’s probably what connections were saying to those in earshot!
The pair are due to meet again in the $200,000 AAMI Tasmanian Derby-G1 in Hobart on 30 January.
Gee, we hope you go one better.


Champion Victorian Sire, Bel Esprit, is well on target to reach 30 winners for the month of January with a treble on Saturday (16 January), bringing his tally to 16.
Apart from Silver Bullion taking out the Kensington Stakes-LR at Flemington – his second stakes winner in a week – Bel Esprit also produced winners at Morphettville (Court Bell) and Beaudesert (John’s Gem).
Court Bell, out of the Blevic mare Fonnix, recorded her third career win – her second at Morphettville – when successful in the Parmalat Handicap over 1100m, while the well bred John’s Gem (ex. Encosta de Lago mare Macedon Dancer) continued her good form in the Happy Birthday Rhonda at Beaudesert.
Bred and raced by J Hodge and N Harrison, Court Bell has only finished out of the money three times in 18 tries, while John’s Gem is equally consistent with two wins and eight placings from 13 outings.
Bred by Darryl Laity, John’s Gem is out of a multiple winning half sister to 2YO stakes winner Rain at Bay and the dam of Group Two winner Rain Dance Lady – all daughters of Kewney Stakes-G2 winner More Rain.

Saturday’s three peater was the seventh occasion that Bel Esprit has produced a treble!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


The victory of Silver Bullion in the Kensington Stakes-LR at Flemington on Saturday (16 January) has boosted his sire Bel Esprit’s stakes winners tally to eight and is his second black type winner in a week following Beltrois’ capture of the LT Cleary Stakes-LR at Caulfield.
Bel Esprit is clearly one of the nation’s most exciting sires and averaged over $65,000 for five yearlings sold at last week’s Gold Coast Magic Millions, with plenty more to come at sales the length and breadth of Australasia.
Apart from 30 youngsters entered for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale (1-4 March), including a half brother to Group winning 2YO Delago Bolt (Lot 4), Bel Esprit will also have a half brother to recent Perth Cup-G2 winner Lords Ransom sell at the Perth Magic Millions on Tuesday 28 January (Lot 184) and a half brother to last season’s NZ 2000 Guineas-G1 winner Tell a Tale at the New Zealand Premier on 2 February (Lot 332).


Leading Tasmanian breeders, Dr Vu Van Tu and Amanda Lockett have experienced an amazing season with their home bred, Silver Bullion, taking out the Kensington Stakes-LR at Flemington on Saturday (16 January).
The Tassie pair enjoyed success in the late 90s when Sedation – whom they bred and owned – won five stakes races including the Sandown Guineas-G2, but it’s unlikely they’ve experienced anything like the run of late.
Apart from Silver Bullion, another of their Bel Esprits in Taiyin won at Launceston in November, while they also produced the first Bel Esprit 2YO winner for the season when Strike The Tiger scored by a whopping at Devonport on 6 January.
Fortunately for the pair, they will offer a half brother a half brother to Silver Bullion at the Tasmanian Magic Millions Yearling Sale at Launceston on Tuesday 23 February: Lot 69
Nothing beats timing!


Leon Corstens’ lightning fast, Silver Bullion, captured the Kensington Stakes-LR at Flemington on Saturday (16 January) becoming, as Breednet reports, the eighth stakes winner for Bel Esprit and the second in a week for Victoria’s Champion Sire.

Lightly raced Bel Esprit four year-old Silver Bullion gave his sale bound half brother a tremendous boost when he scored an impressive win in the Kensington Stakes-LR (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
A graduate of the 2007 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Silver Bullion held out Arinos to win in a thrilling finish.
Silver Bullion was able to make amends to connections and followers after his recent first up defeat when favourite at the same track.
“We had the winkers on him last start and he just raced that little bit fresh. He probably did quite a bit of work early, so he was flat for the last 50,” a jubliant Troy Corstens reported post race.
“Two or three weeks between runs and freshened him up and he’s done very well today.”
Corstens said they chose to run in the Listed event in an attempt to earn black type for connections, who are breeders (Dr Vu Van Tu and Amanda Lockett) and it was timely with his half brother set to go under the hammer next month.
“We sat down and did the form during the week and thought we could run fourth, maybe third and the owners down in Tasmania own the mare (dam) so we were trying to get some black type.
“It’s worked out a little better than we thought.”
Connections feel that Silver Bullion has more wins in store and is in for a lucrative campaign.
“I think he will try and win some more races like this,” Corstens added. “He’s got a pretty good record now – so he’s going OK.”
Silver Bullion is the eighth stakes winner for Eliza Park based Bel Esprit and his third stakes winner this season, joining unbeaten Black Caviar and Beltrois.
Silver Bullion has now earned over $185,000, is from the Moonee Valley winning mare Silver Barbie.
A daughter of Desert King, Silver Barbie is represented by an outstanding yearling at the upcoming Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale at Launceston.
The youngster is catalogued as Lot 69 and is Super VOBIS qualified.
“He’s an outstanding individual,” Magic Millions’ Tony Williams claims. “He is certainly entitled to be one of the top sellers of the auction.
“He is a great type and he’s now a half brother to an impressive Flemington stakes winner, he has a lot going for him.”


Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil.

- Golda Meir, former Israeli Prime Minister


South Australian breeder, Alistair McFarlane, is no stranger to success but is seemingly poised for a memorable couple of months!
Alistair, along with wife Patty, is the breeder and part owner of highly exciting Bel Esprit 4YO Esprit de Bullet (below) (three wins from four starts) who scored comfortably at Bendigo on 28 December.
However, aside from this ‘could-go-anywhere’ scenario, Alistair will also be selling – via Eliza Park’s draft – a Bel Esprit half sister to Oopsy Doopsy, who scored a thrilling win over 1400m at Rosehill on Saturday (16 January), her second win on the trot.
This filly (Lot 264) is closely related to Alistair’s stakes winning home breds, Hollow Bullet (VRC Oaks-G1) and Red Hot Mama and is sure to be one of the highlights at this year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier.


Eliza Park’s Darren Mackereth (left) is one of the most accomplished horse breakers in the world and keeps a very close eye on his ‘graduates’.
On Friday Darren reports that the Luke Wilkinson owned and syndicated, Crossley had his first run in 15 weeks at Moonee Valley, finishing a bold second to Perikon over 1200m after coming from three lengths last on the bend.
Only lightly raced, Crossley has raced on just four occasions including a cruisy win at Seymour last September.
Crossley has been entered for the Group One Australian Guineas at Flemington on 6 March, along with another Mick Price entry and three of Mike Moroneys – all of whom were broken in and pre-trained at Eliza Park.
It could be a very interesting Guineas with Lonhro colt Dissolved (below) – part owned by Eliza Park (and purchased as a stallion prospect) – also among the nominations, as is the unbeaten Bel Esprit filly Black Caviar!
Eliza Park also has a hand in the Newmarket Handicap-G1 to be run on the same day with Peter Moody entering Black Caviar as well, while the exciting King Pulse (broken in and pre-trained at Eliza Park) should give the Moroney camp a very good show as well.
And let’s not forget that this could also be the return to Group One winning form for Horse of the Year, Weekend Hussler, clearly one of Darren’s greatest achievements as a breaker.


Fantastic result on Friday (15 January) for long time Eliza Park supporter, Graham Gathercole, whose Bel Esprit colt, Esprit Son snapped up a terrific win over 1000m at Wagga.
This was only Esprit Son’s second outing after failing at Wangaratta on 4 January, but he made up for it in droves by racing wide throughout but scooting home to win comfortably.
Trainer Adrian McGregor had to be impressed with the quality of the 3YO’s performance and it wouldn’t surprise to see this bloke go through his grades quickly.
One of seven to race out of the At Talaq mare, High Price, all are winners including the stakes placed pair Fire Vain (also raced by Graham and a winner at Kilmore three days earlier) and High Academy.
The full brother to Esprit Son – High Esprit – is also a winner in Melbourne for Graham.
Fortunately for Graham, High Price has a Bel Esprit 2YO (Jungle Man), a Bel Esprit yearling filly, a Bel Esprit colt at foot and is in foal to Group One winning sprinter, Magnus.
Perhaps, winners No. 8, 9, 10 & 11 for Graham?


Lightly raced Bel Esprit mare, Esprit de l’Air wasn’t missed by bookies when she stepped out over 1406m at Murray Bridge on Wednesday (13 January), but she did miss the start!
Having only her seventh outing – and following on from a highly promising second over the same journey on New Year’s Day – Esprit de l’Air was sent out a $2.30 favourite but proceeded to miss the kick by three lengths.
All was forgiven though as she managed to get up by a half length on the line and score her maiden win for a happy bunch of connections including trainer Daniel Clarkson.
Bred in South Australia by the successful Flower Hill Stud, Esprit de l’Air is out of the El Qahira mare, Linaria, a winning sister to dual Group One winner Alcove and a three quarter sister to stakes winners Viminaria (dam of Gazania), Eau Savage, Grey Alder, Maritima etc.
Keep an eye out for this bonny mare as this win won’t be her last.


It never ceases to amaze the bits and pieces that Bel Esprit statistician, Brian Donohoe, has tucked away and he trotted a couple more out following Regal Scout’s victory over 1212m at Kilmore on Tuesday (12 January).

Brian reports …
John Symons purchased four Bel Esprits when his first crop went to the sales: Bells All Round, who holds the record for the fastest 1000m (albeit at Swan Hill), dual winner Milaki, Bellagio Bel, who had one sensational win before getting injured, and Regal Scout.
Real Scout was winning his third race when successful in the Anne Taylor Handicap (62) at Kilmore in a time of 1:12.75 with a length to spare.
John Symons, the second most successful trainer of Bel Esprits, is also remembered as the trainer of Bel Esprit.
John also purchased one from Bel Esprits second crop … Belcino, who has wom three races from 10.

Regal Scout was bred by Rheinwood Pastoral Co in NSW and is out of the Forest Glow mare, Silent Tribute, a multiple winning half sister to Sydney Group winner Dottoressa and a granddaughter of NZ Oaks winner Lady Athenaia.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Eliza Park stallions have performed with distinction in the season’s traditional yearling sale pipe opener – the Gold Coast Magic Millions – with the progeny of Bel Esprit, Danbird, God’s Own and Written Tycoon all selling above the odds.
Bel Esprit had four sell, averaging over $75,000 (off a 2007 service fee of $20,000) with the top price of $100,000 paid by Colin Little for the colt from Madame Grange.
Danbird, only had the one entry on the Coast, but Laurel Oak Bloodstock was quick to snap up the half brother to Group One winner Jymcarew for $55,000. Stranded in NSW after the outbreak of EI, Danbird covered just 33 mares in 2007 at a fee of $8,800.
Colm Santry ($100,000) and Amanda Skiffington ($95,000) were just two of the major buyers who fancied the sons and daughters of exciting sire, God’s Own (2007 fee: $33,000), whose second crop of youngsters were as eagerly sought out as the first.
Perhaps the star of the show though was first season sire Written Tycoon. The Group Two winning 2YO was only represented by two youngsters on the Gold Coast, but the pair grossed $100,000, with Dean Hawthorne forking out $55,000 for the colt from Kassiyaka during Session 5 after the Written Tycoon – Queenie colt was knocked down to David Payne for $45,000 on day three.
Little wonder when you see the similarities between the pair!

(That is Written Tycoon on top and the Written Tycoon - Queenie colt below)

Congratulations also to purchasers of the eight lots sold under the Eliza Park banner:

  • Testa Rossa – Baltics filly : David O’Callaghan Bloodstock
  • God’s Own – Maneater colt : Amanda Skiffington
  • God’s Own – Miss Theron colt : Troy Gayler
  • God’s Own – Sinikka colt : Wade Burridge
  • Elusive Quality – Timeless Winds filly : Shane Morrisy
  • Danbird – Aperto colt : Laurel Oak Bloodstock
  • Bel Esprit – Lottacosta filly : Jason Petch


A few from the old maestro, Bob Hope …

“If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf.”

“You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.”

“I do benefits for all religions – I’d hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality.”

“I must say the Senator’s victory in Wisconsin was a triumph for democracy. It proves that a millionaire has just as good a chance as anyone else.”

“She said she was approaching forty, and I couldn’t help wondering from what direction.”

BEL ESPRIT – 10 IN 10 IN ‘10

Bel Esprit is flying! Not only has he notched up his 10th winner in 10 days in 2010, he has produced his 7th stakes winner in Beltrois and grabbed a double on 10 January with Rebel Truce and Dashing Spirit.
The Patrick Payne trained Rebel Truce got the ball rolling with a confident victory – as favourite – over 1200m at Warrnambool, notching up his second win and fourth placing from just nine outings.
Bred by Jim Mathews – who is also part owner of the 3YO colt – Rebel Truce is out of a stakes placed Encosta de Lago mare, Largo in turn a sister to Melbourne stakes winner Gazania.
It would appear the lightly raced colt has a big future and it wouldn’t surprise to see him in town again some time soon.
Dashing Spirit didn’t have things all his own way when competing in the Tooheys Handicap at Tamworth, but did manage to claw his way to a dead heat with Coercive Act.
According to Bel Esprit (below) statistician, Brian Donohoe, the Bel Esprits have now won 280 races, but this is the first time he can recall judges being unable to split the verdict.
Trained by Lew Hyson has also been placed three times this campaign, but this is Dashing Spirit’s first win since scoring on debut at Sale in April 2008.
Bred by Steven van Eyk, Dashing Spirit is out of the Marauding mare La Corsaire and is closely related to Arkansas Derby-G1 winner Hostage.


Trainer Lyn Tolson does a great job with only a small team of horses and managed to get the best out of Delago Brom 5YO, Delago Sun, who scored his third career win over 1400m at Pakenham on Saturday (9 January).
Bred by Mrs J Burke, B James and J Foden – the latter two sharing ownership of the horse – Delago Sun is out of the Importune mare Indecency.
Having now raced on 27 occasions for three wins and nine placings, Delago Sun is from the family of Caulfield Cup winner Arctic Scent.
Meanwhile, Delago Brom scored a double for the day when Mushala notched up his third straight win at King Island.
From the same crop as Delago Sun, Mushala is trained on the Island by Jim Taylor and has now raced five times since the end of November – three times in the last fortnight – for three wins and two seconds.
Bred by Alan Watson, Mushala is out of the Revoque mare Chapel Royal.


Admittedly it was eight days later than it should have been, but Beltrois became stakes winner No. 7 for breeding juggernaut Bel Esprit by capturing the LT Cleary Stakes-LR over 1200m at Caulfield on 9 January.
At his previous start, Beltrois put in a blinder in the Standish Handicap-G3 at Flemington on New Year’s Day, only to finish a neck second to multiple stakes winner Royal Ida.
Bred and trained by Robbie Griffiths, Beltrois has now won five and placed in four from only 12 starts.
Robbie has earmarked the Group One Goodwood Handicap (1200m) at Morphettville in May as a realistic target for this rapidly improving sprinter.
Owned by a great team of people, including Brian and Peter Donohoe, Don Healy and Robbie’s wife Shiranee, Beltrois is out of the Noalcoholic mare Vaingt Trois which has thrown five winners for her trainer, including 7-time winner Ruby Trois.
This is also the family of Golden Slipper and AJC Doncaster winner Tontonan.
Meanwhile, Vaingt Trois is back in foal to Bel Esprit with the resultant progeny to be raced by Robbie and Kevin Sheedy.

By the way, full marks to Robbie Griffiths who not only saluted with Beltrois in the Cleary, but notched up a treble on the day with victories to It’s Prince (race 4) and Rainband (race 8).

From the desk of ANZ Bloodstock News editor, Darryl Sherer, is an edited version of his article “Beltrois Adds To Esprit Momentum”

Last Saturday’s Doveton Stakes resulted in a gritty win for the consistent sprinter Beltrois, who was winning at stakes level for the first time and became the seventh stakeswinner for his sire Bel Esprit.
A Group 1 winner at two and three, Bel Esprit himself was a high-class sprinter, winning five of his six starts at two including the Blue Diamond Stakes and all five of his victories coming at stakes level.
At three Bel Esprit won the Doomben 10,000 and was Group 1 placed in the Newmarket Handicap, Caulfield Guineas, Invitation Stakes and Manikato Stakes.
A son of the much under-rated Royal Academy (USA), Bel Esprit won eight of his 19 races and earned over $2 million.
Pedigree wise he had sufficient credentials to succeed at stud. His sire, Royal Academy, a Group 1 winning sprinter by Nijinsky and closely related to Storm Cat … his dam a daughter of champion sprinter Vain and a half-sister to Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1) winner Mahaasin.
As successful a sire as he has been, Royal Academy is yet to leave an established sire son. Group 1 winners Ali-Royal and Val Royal both sired a good horse each but have proved disappointing at stud. Ihtiram (Ire) was not as good a runner as Ali-Royal or Val Royal but sired the Group 1 sprinter Miss Andretti.
Bel Esprit retired to stud in 2003 and sired Group 1 winner - Bel Mer - from his first-crop. A brilliantly fast filly, Bel Mer won the Robert Sangster Stakes (Gr 1) and three other Listed races. Out of a mare by At Talaq (USA), Bel Mer is inbred 3 x 4 to Vain and this duplication is also seen in Bel Esprit’s unbeaten daughter Black Caviar.
Vain is also seen in the pedigree of Listed winners Mooring (a brother to Bel Mer) and Belcentra while there is also a connection to Beltrois.
Beltrois is inbred 5 x 5 to Orgoglio (GB), a temperamental sprinting son of Nasrullah but a very good sire. Orgoglio stood at stud in Victoria and amongst his many winners as a broodmare sire is Vain.
Bel Esprit’s dam Bespoken boasts an interesting tabulation, being inbred to Mumtaz Mahal while her dam, the New Zealand Group 1 winner Vin d’Amour is inbred to Mumtaz Mahal’s daughter, Rustom Mahal.
Bel Esprit has been extremely popular at stud in 2009, covering over 250 mares and second only to Fastnet Rock by numbers of mares covered.
From four crops of racing age he has already shown himself capable of getting a Group 1 winner and in Black Caviar, he has potentially another.


If ever a horse deserved a win …!
Colin & Cindy Alderson’s gutsy Delago Brom mare, Rusky Ago Go has finally broken through with a resounding win over 1210m at Mornington on Friday (8 January).
The 4YO, who debuted with a second at Moonee Valley in February 2008, has raced on only nine occasions for a win and FIVE SECONDS, plus a third.
Since resuming last November, Rusky Ago Go has run third, seventh, second, second, second and now, a win.
Hopefully, for her intrepid band of owners – including breeder and long time Eliza Park client Neil Shaw – this is just the first of many.
Out of the Baryshnikov mare Russian Ballet, Rusky Ago Go is out of a half sister to eight winners and closely related to multiple stakes winner Dancing Dynamite.


Enigmatic sprinter, Bel’s Ringer, was too nippy for rivals over the 1200m at Kranji in Singapore on Friday night (8 January) and, as Eliza Park’s Asian representative, Lyle Plumb, reports, the son of Bel Esprit scored at juicy odds!

Bel’s Ringer continued the good form of his sire Bel Esprit when scoring a surprise win at Kranji.
After his most recent outing on the Polytrack, punters shied away from the John Meagher trained galloper, but jockey KB Soo steered him home at 66-1 ($330 dividend).
Bel’s Ringer has now notched up two wins and a third in Singapore.
Bred by Kevin and Tanith O’Brien’s Lauriston Farm, Bel’s Ringer is out of the Zoffany mare, Let It Ring.

Friday, January 8, 2010


One of the first lots to go through today’s session (Friday) on the Gold Coast will be the God’s Own colt from Pins mare Miss Theron (below).
The sole God’s Own offered at the Gold Coast Magic Millions – at this stage – was knocked down to Denise Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds yesterday for $95,000, while Pins himself has had two yearlings snapped up for $100,000 each.
This God’s Own colt is the first foal of Miss Theron, a Group placed winner of seven races from 1400m to 2400m, from a stakes placed sister to NZ 1000 Guineas-G1 winner Imperial Angel and Group winning 2YO Majestic Angel (dam of Group winners Just a Dream and Forfar).
It certainly is a happening family.


According to those thousands of space cadets who have bumped into ‘The King’ at the local supermarket since he – ‘allegedly’ shuffled off this mortal coil in August 1977 – Elvis Presley will celebrate his 75th birthday today (8 January).
Probably celebrating by choking down four scoops of ice cream and six chocolate chip cookies – again allegedly his last meal – ‘The Pelvis’ has sold over a billion records and however much fun we like to make of him, he was clearly in a stratosphere of his own.

“Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.”

“Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.”


Clangalang 4YO, Quid Pro Quo, has really come into her own this campaign with a sparkling win over 2040m at Morphettville on 6 January.
Although Quid Pro Quo’s six runs prior to resuming in November were pretty much a mixed bag, she appears to have grown another leg this time around with a third at Balaklava, third at Murray Bridge and second at Morphettville leading into Wednesday’s win.
Like so many of the Clanaglangs she’s improving – dramatically – as she matures. Hardly surprising when you consider that Quid Pro Quo is out of the Kenny’s Best Pal mare, Concluding, whose only other runner is the 5-time winner Moment in Time, victorious in the SAJC Auraria S-G3 (1812m) and VRC St Leger-LR (2800m) and runnerup in the SAJC Australasian Oaks-G1 (2000m).
Bred by PJ & Mrs EM Mittiga, WA & Mrs RP Blythman – who also part own the mare – Quid Pro Quo is trained by Jim Smith.
We’ll never get sick and tired of saying at, but Clangalang continues his great run with a winner on 2 January (Luvbite), a stakes placed second on the third (Geegees Blackflash), a whisker second on the fourth (Lady Jodalyna), a winner on the sixth (Quid Pro Quo) and a second on the seventh (Duplify).
Note that John Gunning’s Buzabout is going around in tonight’s Essendon Fields Handicap at Moonee Valley, fresh from a win at Stony Creek on 28 December.


According to Wikipedia, Quid Pro Quo comes from the Latin meaning “something for something”, indicating a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services.
Probably it’s most famous use was by cannibal serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the movie Silence of the Lambs when interviewed by FBI agent, Clarice Starling.
Right up there with his line: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti”.


Tasmanian breeders and owners, Dr Vu van Tu and Amanda Lockett are never far from a winner these days and grabbed some headlines in November when their smart Bel Esprit filly in Taiyin scored over 1200m at Devonport.
(They also pay the feed bills for Leon Corstens’ nippy Bel Esprit 4YO Silver Bullion who won at Moonee Valley in June and finished third, when resuming, to Nullarbor Crossing at Flemington on New Year’s Day).
Roll the clock forward some six weeks and Dr Vu and Amanda have every reason to be excited about the prospects of another Bel Esprit – this one a 2YO by the name of Strike The Tiger.
Not only did Strike The Tiger become Bel Esprit’s first juvenile winner of the season with his victory over 1000m at Devonport on 6 January, he became one of his most emphatic winners ever, taking out the Southern Cross TV Handicap by a whopping eight lengths!
In the stable of Michael Trinder, the trainer clearly has an opinion of Strike The Tiger and don’t be surprised if the youngster figures prominently in Tasmania’s summer carnival.
For a run down of the race, an interview with Michael Trinder and photos, visit tasracing.
Strike The Tiger is out of the Straight Strike mare Bonnie Lassy, a half sister to multiple Kiwi SW Orange Walk and another NZ SW in Monarch Prince.
Strike The Tiger is also a direct descendant of the famous Dulcie, whose line has produced Balmerino, Surround, Purple Patch, Lord Hybrow, Beau Zam and My Tristram’s Belle.
Big hoofsteps to follow, but unlikely that any won their debuts by eight lengths!


Ararat racecourse is around a 100k or so from Tony Laidlaw’s stables at Tarrington, but you’d think the trip home was fairly short on Tuesday (5 January) after Broms Express’ victory in the Grampians Event Hire Maiden Plate.
Not that Tony wasn’t aware he had a pretty smart horse on his hands. The Delago Brom 4YO had run third at his only previous start – at Bairnsdale back in April – and is clearly a horse with promise.
Bred by Wynneford Park and R Armstrong, Broms Express is out of the Lord Seymour mare, Set to Seymour, a multiple winner in the Apple Isle and a three quarter sister in blood to South Australian SW Duke Abbey and closely related to King Hoaks who won last year’s Standish Handicap-G3 at Flemington.